January 2020 General NBA Game Thread

benhogan

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It's weird that people didn't get super-excited about Mikal Bridges' future when he hit 6 of 8 open 3s against Boston last week. And he had even more pointz! 26! Raw numbers!

Zion has a promising future if healthy (although coming back fat is very concerning in that regard.) But his little 4th quarter hot shooting streak yesterday is a complete non-indicator in either direction, and I feel like I'm taking crazy pills with how everyone is slobbering over it.
1. the game and the player were built up (on ESPN, immediately put on in the C's locker room postgame)
2. Zion looked lost the first 3 quarters with 5 TOs
3. Zion has played 1 game, how many games has Bridges played in?

If people can't get excited about seeing a 19yr old doing that in his first NBA game then I don't know what to tell you o_O
 

lovegtm

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I’m with @lovegtm on this. If he misses a couple of those 3s is anyone slobbering today?

And I say this as a Duke fan.
Yeah, let me put this another way. If you tuned into that game, and you didn't know it was Zion, you'd be like: "oh, that fat dude on the Pels looked pretty lost on both ends, but he randomly hit some 3s at the end there when wide open. If he focuses on D and gets in shape, he might be able to crack an NBA rotation."

(For the truly dense: this is not my assessment of Zion as a prospect. But it's what people would think about his game last night if he weren't ZION!.)

I honestly thought this board was more sophisticated. If people want to say "it's fun that he hit some 3s" that's cool, but people are acting like it was a legitimately dominant stretch or something, which is totally dumb and ridiculous. I love watching Zion, and I was bored watching those highlights.
 

benhogan

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scoring 17straight pts in the 4th quarter of a late/tight game while on minutes restrictions is FUN

For the truly dense: this is ALSO not my assessment of Zion as a prospect
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't see anyone here getting overly excited about Williamson's performance or anointing him to the HOF.

I would even go so far as to say that the overall media spin on his first game has been measured given that the guy was clearly out of basketball shape (aka peak SoSH bash shape).

Reasonable minds can agree that it wasn't a career defining performance.
 

lovegtm

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I don't see anyone here getting overly excited about Williamson's performance or anointing him to the HOF.

I would even go so far as to say that the overall media spin on his first game has been measured given that the guy was clearly out of basketball shape (aka peak SoSH bash shape).

Reasonable minds can agree that it wasn't a career defining performance.
Yeah, as someone who likes the guy and would like to see him be awesome, the weight was REALLY concerning. He had one job the past few months...
 

ElUno20

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Yeah, let me put this another way. If you tuned into that game, and you didn't know it was Zion, you'd be like: "oh, that fat dude on the Pels looked pretty lost on both ends, but he randomly hit some 3s at the end there when wide open. If he focuses on D and gets in shape, he might be able to crack an NBA rotation."

(For the truly dense: this is not my assessment of Zion as a prospect. But it's what people would think about his game last night if he weren't ZION!.)

I honestly thought this board was more sophisticated. If people want to say "it's fun that he hit some 3s" that's cool, but people are acting like it was a legitimately dominant stretch or something, which is totally dumb and ridiculous. I love watching Zion, and I was bored watching those highlights.
No need for what ifs. He made those shots. Stop overthinking it.
 

ElUno20

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Yeah, as someone who likes the guy and would like to see him be awesome, the weight was REALLY concerning. He had one job the past few months...
But we dont know his restrictions with the knee injury. He'll get his fat ass into shape.

His quick feet and great hands around the rim aren't going anywhere.
 

Jimbodandy

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Some people won't get past Zion being fat. You guys might be right. Maybe the weight causes him to battle significant injuries his whole career. Maybe he becomes such a liability on defense because of weight or conditioning that it mitigates his value as a player.

Just want to point out that people have been saying this stuff for years. Lots of people thought that ACC play would expose him, Duke's SoS would expose him, and the NBA would expose him. So far nothing has.

Sure, last night he looked like Mo Speights. But it's his first NBA regular season game. Anyone drawing any conclusions from it perhaps already has their mind made up.
 

lovegtm

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Some people won't get past Zion being fat. You guys might be right. Maybe the weight causes him to battle significant injuries his whole career. Maybe he becomes such a liability on defense because of weight or conditioning that it mitigates his value as a player.

Just want to point out that people have been saying this stuff for years. Lots of people thought that ACC play would expose him, Duke's SoS would expose him, and the NBA would expose him. So far nothing has.

Sure, last night he looked like Mo Speights. But it's his first NBA regular season game. Anyone drawing any conclusions from it perhaps already has their mind made up.
It’s purely about health. He absolutely can be an All-Star at that weight if we’re just talking about on-court.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I don't see anyone here getting overly excited about Williamson's performance or anointing him to the HOF.

I would even go so far as to say that the overall media spin on his first game has been measured given that the guy was clearly out of basketball shape (aka peak SoSH bash shape).

Reasonable minds can agree that it wasn't a career defining performance.
I found Zion's performing intriguing for sure. To do what he did in that 4Q 3-minute stretch cannot be discounted. He absolutely did knock down those shots...….what happens when the defense doesn't treat him like he's Ben Simmons in the future though? We saw one of his glaring weaknesses in that he brings the ball down below his waist and constantly gets stripped on the way up. This happened a bunch at Duke last year too when not in open space.

I'm not a fan of his overall game nor a detractor. He will be fun and interesting to watch from my seat however. I will stick to my prediction that he will be injured again and either be out for the year or shut down for the year. He's not been able to show that he's durable over these past two years to stay on the floor.
 

Kliq

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Who needs to lose weight more, Zion or Vladito? I think Zion is going to need to lose some weight to avoid being, maybe not Greg Oden, but perhaps Joel Embiid. Great in stretches but unreliable over the course of a season.
 

Devizier

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I found Zion's performing intriguing for sure. To do what he did in that 4Q 3-minute stretch cannot be discounted. He absolutely did knock down those shots...….what happens when the defense doesn't treat him like he's Ben Simmons in the future though?
He's got a pretty slow release in that sequence, too. Once teams honor the three he'll have to score another way. It's still an encouraging performance.
 

DannyDarwinism

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I'm not a fan of his overall game nor a detractor. He will be fun and interesting to watch from my seat however. I will stick to my prediction that he will be injured again and either be out for the year or shut down for the year. He's not been able to show that he's durable over these past two years to stay on the floor.
His wonky gait was pretty striking last night. I don’t know enough about biomechanics to have an informed opinion on the risks, but it does not seem ideal when that gait is combined with his weight and the force he can generate. Now I sound like Dr. Suess, but you get the idea. I hope you’re wrong because he’s fun as hell and good for the league and I’d sacrifice a toe to see the Pelicans with a healthy Zion matched up against the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, but I worry that you’re right.

As an aside, Zion’s Gait sounds like a killer dub compilation.
 

Smokey Joe

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But we dont know his restrictions with the knee injury. He'll get his fat ass into shape.

His quick feet and great hands around the rim aren't going anywhere.
I am sure he had a dietician telling him exactly what and how much he needed to eat to maintain his weight and satisfy his requirements for healing. Those are the restrictions that he didn’t follow.
 

ElUno20

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I am sure he had a dietician telling him exactly what and how much he needed to eat to maintain his weight and satisfy his requirements for healing. Those are the restrictions that he didn’t follow.
Do we know this? There seems to be a ton of overanalyzing this stuff. Yeah he's not treating his body like a billion dollar empire like lebron. He's also like 19.

He's a rookie. Playing nba basketball the next 4 months will thin his ass out. But he's always going to be a big dude. He has the frame of an nfl lineman.
 

lovegtm

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Do we know this? There seems to be a ton of overanalyzing this stuff. Yeah he's not treating his body like a billion dollar empire like lebron. He's also like 19.

He's a rookie. Playing nba basketball the next 4 months will thin his ass out. But he's always going to be a big dude. He has the frame of an nfl lineman.
They had a special guy assigned to him to work on teaching him how to walk. If they didn't have a dietician working with him, I'd be shocked.
 

DJnVa

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I’m with @lovegtm on this. If he misses a couple of those 3s is anyone slobbering today?

And I say this as a Duke fan.
Are you asking that if he performed differently would the reaction be different?

Yes. The answer is yes.

(I kid because I love you)
 

tims4wins

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Are you asking that if he performed differently would the reaction be different?

Yes. The answer is yes.

(I kid because I love you)
I know. But the reality is, while him hitting a few 3s is a good sign (he only shot like 31% at Duke last year or whatever), my takeaway from last night wasn't OMG ZION LOOKS AWESOME. It was cool that he hit a few 3s, and his ability to knock down that shot is huge in terms of his potential as a player, but he didn't really have any "wow" moments last night. He's not going to make his NBA living off making 3s. One hot night doesn't move the needle for me. Sure he made the shots, good for him, but I think it's far more likely he shots 20-25% from 3 than 35-40%.
 

DJnVa

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I think the "wow" moment was scoring 17 straight points. That doesn't happen a lot. I know in some ways that even though it doesn't happen a lot, that it's not really predicative of anything, but it's still something cool to see. And that it was a kid in his first game makes it, in our social media-driven world, "BIG NEWS!!!!"

From some Google-fu the most I saw in a row was Lebron scoring 25 straight.
 
Apr 14, 2006
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Saw part of the beginning of the game and then watched the highlights. What I noticed was how other players in the post bounced off Zion. He is a massive load, compact and strong. He can outmaneuver and get offensive rebounds. He bends space. It's obvious that the Pelicans will be much better playing off of him.

I remember there was a lot of talk from his junior year of high school that his game wouldn't play at the next level... and then it did.
 

InstaFace

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yeah the real moment for me, other than him hitting 4 straight 3s, was the baskets that weren't threes - I believe it was two back-down-in-the-post plays. That a rookie has the strength to back NBA defenders down and then the skill to turn around and hit those... that struck me as unusual.
 

TripleOT

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I had the game on and was barely paying any attention when Zion was sitting.

The best think about his 17 point explosion is, after slogging through three short stints earlier in the game, he stepped up to seize the moment, and crushed it, using the weakest, most questioned part of his offensive arsenal.

It was awesome. Too bad he didn't get to finish, this time.

Also, he's got the core and butt of an offensive left tackle. The Round Mound of rebound figured out how to get into NBA shape as a big man. Zion will too.

Barkley 2.0, with a little LBJ sprinkled in. He's going to be must see TV.
 

Kliq

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If Zion has Barkley's career that would be great; but all these Barkley comparisons have to come with the caveat that Barkley's weight and conditioning were a constant question throughout his entire career.
 

Cesar Crespo

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But we dont know his restrictions with the knee injury. He'll get his fat ass into shape.

His quick feet and great hands around the rim aren't going anywhere.
Yes, losing weight is very easy and that's why no one is fat.

We don't know if his injuries are the cause of him being fat either. He's always been a big dude.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If Zion has Barkley's career that would be great; but all these Barkley comparisons have to come with the caveat that Barkley's weight and conditioning were a constant question throughout his entire career.
For every Barkley there's a Oliver Miller, Mike Sweetney, Robert Traylor. Losing weight and getting in shape shouldn't be a given. If it was, he'd already be in shape.
 

HomeRunBaker

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For every Barkley there's a Oliver Miller, Mike Sweetney, Robert Traylor. Losing weight and getting in shape shouldn't be a given. If it was, he'd already be in shape.
People always forget John "Hot Plate" Williams who at age 23 was putting up 18/8/6 with a couple triple doubles before. He was a 6-8, 235 Magic when he entered the league...….and within 5-6 years turned into Big Baby 3x.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhtBZbAcqIo
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Simmons, Russilo and House were discussing Young on the BS podcast this week and they all deemed him unfit for an AS spot because of the Hawks awful play this season. I don't really care much about the All Star game or the selection process but basing selections on a team's win/loss record seems to ignore the fact that the game is an exhibition and is for the casual fans who just want to see elite NBA players doing cool stuff and young up-and-comers. Trae kind of checks both boxes.

On the other hand, I think leaving him off your roster is entirely reasonable. He is flawed and his team has been bad.

As a side note, I have no problem with Tatum and/or Brown being omitted either. I want them to get rest - and I know the game isn't that taxing but the travel, promotion and socializing around it is. And if omission motivates them to work harder, all the better.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Young over Simmons? LOL!!! Trae makes my team because he really is a difference maker in Atlanta as they aren't even competitive when he is out of the lineup.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be on the West minus a couple points in the 1H when Kemba and Trae are attempting to defend Harden and Doncic. This may be a good spot to take Luka at the MVP price which should be very juicy with Giannis, Harden, and LeBron the favorites.


EDIT: Yes, I'm a dumbass and forgot that this isn't East vs West anymore. Damn, that seemed like some easy money.
 
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HowBoutDemSox

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Jaylen massively unappreciated.
Zach Lowe actually gave Jaylen his last reserve spot, over Tatum, interestingly enough. His argument was largely about efficiency, which I think misses a bit about how Tatum is more of a primary option for the offense, which Lowe mentions but doesn’t really account for:
Tatum has the best dossier, but he is shooting a career-worst 47% on 2s and is the fourth-best passer among Boston's heavy-rotation guys.

Tatum is ahead of Brown as a distributor, and underrated on defense -- Brown's equal. Brad Stevens has leaned most on Tatum to prop up Boston's offense when Walker rests. I'd bet on Tatum being better than Brown over his career -- and probably over the rest of this season.

But Tatum and Brown are still mostly finishers, and Brown -- 39% from deep, 55% on 2s -- has finished more accurately over the relevant sample. Tatum's case isn't so strong that Boston should get a third All-Star.
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The Needler

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I don’t even understand it. Why is there such a massive tie for 7th in the media’s frontcourt, and am I really to believe that’s where Tacko landed?
 

Kliq

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Just seeing this, but Guerrero lost a lot of weight this winter, I believe.
Ah, the annual "he's in the best shape of his life" stories that begin leaking out during spring training.

Simmons, Russilo and House were discussing Young on the BS podcast this week and they all deemed him unfit for an AS spot because of the Hawks awful play this season. I don't really care much about the All Star game or the selection process but basing selections on a team's win/loss record seems to ignore the fact that the game is an exhibition and is for the casual fans who just want to see elite NBA players doing cool stuff and young up-and-comers. Trae kind of checks both boxes.

On the other hand, I think leaving him off your roster is entirely reasonable. He is flawed and his team has been bad.

As a side note, I have no problem with Tatum and/or Brown being omitted either. I want them to get rest - and I know the game isn't that taxing but the travel, promotion and socializing around it is. And if omission motivates them to work harder, all the better.
Simmons and Rusillo's takedown of Young was stupid. Simmons knocks Young in every podcast, but their criticism from the most recent pod was bizarre. They knocked Young for having the entire team run through him and likened him to Harden on Houston, and indicated that his stats are high only because his usage was so high. The reality is that Young's usage, while high, is about the same as Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell and significantly below Harden, Giannis and Doncic. He is ninth in the league in FGA per 100 possessions, so his usage is pretty average for an All-Star level player.

That isn't even considering that Young has a pretty terrible supporting cast. Sorry, he isn't sitting plays out for Atlanta to run an Alex Len post-up or a Kevin Huerter iso. There are valid reasons to have Young off the team, his team is really bad and his defense is horrible, but acting like he is playing at an incredibly selfish rate is inaccurate.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Ah, the annual "he's in the best shape of his life" stories that begin leaking out during spring training.



Simmons and Rusillo's takedown of Young was stupid. Simmons knocks Young in every podcast, but their criticism from the most recent pod was bizarre. They knocked Young for having the entire team run through him and likened him to Harden on Houston, and indicated that his stats are high only because his usage was so high. The reality is that Young's usage, while high, is about the same as Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell and significantly below Harden, Giannis and Doncic. He is ninth in the league in FGA per 100 possessions, so his usage is pretty average for an All-Star level player.

That isn't even considering that Young has a pretty terrible supporting cast. Sorry, he isn't sitting plays out for Atlanta to run an Alex Len post-up or a Kevin Huerter iso. There are valid reasons to have Young off the team, his team is really bad and his defense is horrible, but acting like he is playing at an incredibly selfish rate is inaccurate.
You don't need to sell me. I am an Ice Trae fan and am thrilled he is an all star if only because the league would do well to promote the wealth of young talent around the association.

That said, I find these debates silly. Its an exhibition and while it means a lot to the players, missing out isn't the worst thing for them. For a guy like Young, I suspect he would take it out on the league for a long time.
 

tims4wins

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This reads like the whole "if you take away that 65 yard TD run, did the dude really have a good game?" argument.
Yes and no. Let’s put it this way. If Zion needs to shoot well from 3 to have a good career I wouldn’t bet on that happening. It’s akin to Smart having a good shooting night. Nice when it happens. Not close to reliable.
 

ernieshore

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Yeah. I was at the Mavs/Blazers game last night. The first quarter was ridiculous from both teams - barely missing any shots. Ariza brought some positive offense in his first game. But overall the Blazers defense was awful - only showing up when Doncic was on the bench, or later in the second half when he seemed to shift back a gear. And I actually thought Melo brought some honest energy and hustle (!!!).

Hopefully getting Nurkic, Collins, and CJ back will be three big additions they need. It may just be too late.